Our trip to Osteria Francescana was a whole day. Because we went crazy and because we got two reservations in the crazy lottery that is getting a table at this place, we decided we should take advantage and have lunch and dinner here. The dining room is sleek, simple yet inviting. I particularly liked the artwork they had. And it really is just 12 tables, so no wonder getting a table is impossible. The best part, during dinner Massimo came out to hang!Not only did we get a picture, and a number of signed books, he told us all about his soup kitchens which is just a wonderful program. We started with an a la carte lunch and finished the day off with the Tasting menu.
A la carte Lunch
Our amuse bouche: An almond milk and caper cappuccino (sounds weird but tastes amazing) and a wonderful savory macaroon with a parmesan twill
Cod Mare Nostrum: The broth was amazing, so many herbs and green and perfectly cooked fish
An eel swimming up the Po River: A classic from Chefs Table
Croccantino of foie gras covered with Noto almonds and Piedmont hazelnuts with Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Modena: this was ridiculously good. Foie gras covered with almonds and filled with modena balsamic when you bit in. craziness!!
Traditional Modenese miniature tortellini in capon broth
Grey and black rice with Oscietra Royal caviar: decadent, perfectly balanced and al dente.
Tagliatelle with hand cut meat ragù: Another from Chef’s Table that my sister had to have. She said it was pasta deliciousness.
Suckling pig tender and crunchy with Villa Manodori Traditional Balsamic Vinegar from Modena: Crispy and beautiful with wonderful local Vinegar
Lobster with double sauces, both acidic and sweet: Beautiful and sweet
Then for dinner we were off for the Everything tasting menu. Here is what it was:
The Amuse (which points to them was different from th amuse bouche of the afternoon) was mortadela foam, I was very impressed that they made them different from what we had at lunch.
Insalata diMare: Amazing blend of flavours and textures. Each layer had a new little surprise. first eggs, then octopus, some shrimp to finish off. A total delight.
Mediterranean Sole: Beautiful and delicious, the perfect combination. It is based on different techniques of how Sole can be cooked.
Rice: green over brown over black: Three types of risotto and all of them ridiculously good. However if I was going to rank, the black rice was number one (Same one I had for lunch), the brown mushroom risotto number two and the green veggie one as Number 3.
Autumn in New York: an ode to the city of NY and to the apples that represent it. Delicious and the bonus points is that even if it had beetroot which I hate, they were so well cooked that I didn’t even realize it.
My fellow dinners got the Civet, game, snails, herbs and Rabvioli. Since I couldn’t have that I got this ridiculously amazing mushroom broth with truffles. I was
Five ages of Parmigiano Reggiano in different textures and temperatures: One of the ones I had looked forward to the most given my Chef’s Table viewing and it did not disappoint. Surprisingly it exceeded expectations. It is a mouse, a foam, a whipped foam, a sauce and a twill. So wonderful!!!!!
The crunchy part of the Lasagna: Another staple and another delight. My version was a bit different as it was gluten-free. Instead of Bolognese style I had a vegetable sauce, that was still absolutely delicious. And it does taste like the crunchy part of the lasagna. Food innovation at its best.
Camouflage Pigeon: A delicious course, but probably my least favorite of them all. The sauces are delicious, and the best part the little meatball of the side.
ciliege, amarene, duroni, marasche e pane secco: A beautifully light cherry based palate cleanser
Millefoglie di millefoglie: a beautiful play on words and play of food. When i say it on the menu, I said: no way are they going to give me a millefoglie. But then this came up and i totally understood it. The only part of this that was replaced is a layer of millefeuille on the bottom – oi got a layer of ganache. everything else was a play on the “foglie” of the millefoglie, made of chocolate and truffle and it was amazing.
Oops I dropped the lemon tart: The classic! even better than expected, even more beautiful and best of it all I could eat it because they made it Gluten Free!!!
Crocantino of foie Gras: we got a tiny version of the crocantino as an end of meal. I totally approve of salty meal finishes instead of sweet, how can you not prefer a foie crocantino from a non-descript bombom.
All in all, probably one of the best eaten days of my life. And Osteria just catapulted to the Top 3 of my favorite restaurants alongside Alinea and Chef’s Table. A marvelous restaurant and a must visit.